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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Darian Taylor, LB, Pittsburg State

Darian Taylor of Pittsburg State recently interviewed with Draft Diamonds

• Name: Darian Taylor 

• Height: 6’2”

• Weight: 220lb

• Position: LB/S

• College: Pittsburg State

• Twitter: @datxi_

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

•  I was raised in Manhattan, KS just a few minutes away from K-State. The thing that I love most is the sense of family that flows within the community. 

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

•  Strength and conditioning, followed by film study and then practice. Physical ability/health is what is going to get you noticed and will allow you play to the best of your ability. Studying film, understanding the big picture and truly being a student of the game gives you a competitive edge and is what separates good from great. Practice is last of the three because in a 16 game season, injuries happen and fatigue sets in. So it only seems right that you focus on your health and building knowledge so that you can be on the field as much as possible and mentally be prepared for whatever is thrown at you. 

What do you worry about, and why?

•  I try to place everything in God’s hands so not to worry. But one thing that I am fixated on is living purposefully and being able to give back to those who have given so much for me. 

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

• I’ve failed in different aspects of my life many of which are followed by feelings of disappointment, regret, etc. One thing I’ve come to learn is that it’s more about what you do after failing and not the failure itself. You’re going to have set backs but all you can focus on are the things you can control. Acceptance of the situation, self reflection, and positive action is how I overcome. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

•  Reliability. My team is like my family. And that reason is a driving factor for me on and off the field. I wanted to be a guy who they could turn to regardless of the situation, and know that I was going to have their back. I feel I accomplished that. 

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

•  I’ve played with and against a lot of very talented players throughout my career. In recent memory, Washburn WR, JJ Brania-Hopp definitely makes the list. 

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

•  Football has always been a tool that I’ve been able to use to open other doors in my life. Outside of football I’m very passionate about people. If I couldn’t play football I would find a career that I could use as a platform to make positive impacts in lives and communities around me. 

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?

•  Definitely my room. I’m a little OCD when it comes to that. 

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

•  Hard to say. I don’t think I would know the answer unless I was in that situation. Good thing that I’m not 

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

•  The King in the North; Jon Snow. If you know you know. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

•  I think that my biggest battles in life thus far have been internal struggles more so than anything else. Learning about myself, keeping a positive mindset and growing in my faith has changed my life. I believe that if you stay true to who you are, put in the work and keep faith in His plan that you won’t ever lose. You can’t. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

•  I was doing a shooting competition at half time of one of our basketball games a couple of years ago. Wound up blowing my shoe out and wiping out. There was a video on twitter that blew up- I’m sure my teammates would love for it to resurface. 

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

•  I would say the fake punt I had that went for a 64 yard touchdown. Not too often that I got a chance to tote the rock. 

What song best describes your work ethic?

•  Ambition by Wale

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

•  Resiliency. At the next level and life in general, things aren’t always going to go your way. When they don’t you can lay down or you can get up and go back work. I know what my choice will always be. 

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

•  Tyler Dowling. One of my best friends I grew up with who was killed at 14. He was such an athlete and there’s no telling where he would have been today. I wear a bracelet with his name on it daily and in every single game I’ve ever played in since then as a way to honor him and live some of his dreams through me. 

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

•  Meechie’s Southside

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 

•  Everybody in the NFL is there for a reason. 

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

•  Respected. Too many people live for likes and acceptance from peers, media, etc. That’s not authentic. I’d rather be unapologetically me. 

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

•  I don’t follow a lot of what’s trending or headline stories especially when it comes to individual’s lives like that. I will say that I do feel for those players who struggle with their mental health. I feel that in general that’s an important issue that needs more attention. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

•  My love to win outweighs my hate for losing. Preparing for whatever you’re doing with the intent of winning should breed greater success than preparing or playing to not lose. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

• My biggest influence in life is my Mom. She raised me as a single parent and is one of the strongest and most resilient people I’ve ever met. Some of the greatest lessons she’s taught me in life is sacrifice, selflessness, and love. Forever my #1 fan. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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